I am sitting in a very pretty coffee shop called the Yellow Tucan.
The cafe owner decorates the cafe with bright spots of yellow: oranges, tulips, architectural chairs, and truly brightens up the spirits of anyone stopping in.
It’s been 4 days since I’ve arrived in Paris.
Outside of my meetings for work I’ve committing to a practice of solitude as that’s what I have been looking for as I chose to take this trip– to recalibrate and deepen my focus.
After a sprint of work here and finishing this letter, I will go out to meet a friend, Pierre, to do what’s perhaps some much needed socializing. We will be going to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature. It will be my first time, and I am so very excited to go as I know the decorative art pieces there are splendid!
It hasn’t been difficult at all to find new friends here. There have been the hiccups of having to ward off men though. …on runs, during walks between meetings. But it’s nothing.
Work is going very well, although I’m shy to share with you the details of the project I have been working on just yet. It takes a lot of preparation, a lot of risk, and sharing sometimes feels scary because it feels like I am putting all my eggs in one basket, when I myself am not absolutely sure where this heading. But this I think is the scared me talking. 🙂
Things are moving very quickly forward though. It’s enough to excite me and frighten me simultaneously.
I hope I have the courage to continue on. And if not, I hope I have the courage to take up something new again. To persevere, and also to be brazen when acting for the good things– the worthy things.
“YNAP has also seen a deceleration in North America, where overall luxury goods sales growth has been slower in 2017 compared to Europe and Asia, according to Bain & Co. At YNAP, North American sales in the third quarter of 2017 grew 10 percent from 2016, down from 17 percent growth a year earlier. ‘According to management, this was also driven by a slightly weaker performance in the in-season business, where they made a strategic decision to have lower markdowns versus last year,’ Barclay analyst Andrew Ross wrote in a recent note. ‘While this helped margins, it had a detrimental impact on the top line.’ However, he said, “Long term, this approach by YNAP will strengthen relationships with brands.”” – Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, Bof.com
Digital & Print Publications for Next Level Branding:
In his delicious article “What Makes A Leader?,” brain and behavioral sciences expert and professor Daniel Goleman summarily tackles and identifies Emotional Intelligence as the fulcrum of the development and measurement of leadership within spheres of business and management.
First surfaced in 1985 via Wayne Payne’s doctoral thesis, “A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence”, EI was formally termed to account for the additional types of intelligence not subscribed in the parameters of technical and IQ modules.
Emotional Intelligence is an important quality to understand as how you measure up against these elements/pre-requisites are factors that can affect one’s ability to be a leader: managing a critical mass of people and ultimately creating high-impact value.
Out of the many models that have since been created by many scholars in their attempts to define EI, Goleman’s on EI has withstood the 2000’s and has served as the frame of reference for many educational and professional institutions seeking to understand this more deeply; I have likewise found his model for EI to be particularly useful, so I will continue on with reference to his model of five fundamental components:
Self-awareness is pretty by the book. It’s having a keen knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, your needs, and your desires.
Self-regulation is the ability to maintain what can be simply described as the “emotional/professional poker face”, having the ability to yield reason over instinct despite certain situations natural eliciting a reaction that might be oppositional.
Motivation is the desire to achieve something. Often times, those who are motivated in the work place who currently hold decision making power have been observed to have the inclination to achieve for achievement’s sake regardless of there being a targeted goal or not.
Empathy, is empathy 🙂 Showing and successfully conveying genuine camaraderie and understanding for teammates, despite facing situational differences, deadlines/hard decisions being needed to make (i.e. corporate layoffs). Having the ability to treat each person uniquely and smoothly to best fit his/her emotional makeup and reactionary dispositions.
Lastly, social skills, i.e. being gregarious – being willing to open up your time, resources, and mind widely. Studies have supported that people with great social skills often have friendship networks that are very wide in breadth. Also, in the working space, high-leadership potential individuals can paradoxically appear to not be working as much because they more often than not recognize the needs to do things like allocate amounts of time during their work day to “chat ” and get to know their colleagues cross-departmentally.
Goleman doesn’t merely expound on or seek to heighten the value of pre-existing didacticisms, and this particular excerpt, amongst many, is very enlightening as it gets into the neuroscience of it all–showing where exactly EI growth is being activated and how we can push ourselves and our lovely comrades forward towards [higher command!] higher vision:
“With competency and leadership training programs provided in leading companies, it’s important to determine where exactly our emotional intelligence comes from. It’s a mixture of nature and nurture, but studies show that a large part of our development in regards to this as physiological: “Emotional intelligence is born largely in the neurotransmitters of the brain’s limbic system, which governs feelings, impulses, and drives. Research indicates that the limbic system teams best through motivation, extended practice, and feedback. Compare this with the kind of learning that goes on in the neocortex, which governs analytical and technical ability The neocortex grasps concepts and logic. It is the part of the brain that figures out how to use a computer or make a sales call by reading a book. Not surprisingly-but mistakenly-it is also the part of the brain targeted by most training programs aimed at enhancing emotional intelligence. When such programs take, in effect a neocortical approach, my research with the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations has shown they can even have a negative impact on people’s job performance. To enhance emotional intelligence, organizations must refocus their training to include the limbic system. They must help people break old behavioral habits and establish new ones. That not only takes much more time than conventional training programs, it also requires an individualized approach.”
And just how important are these for professional development and how do they add up to affect the trajectories of our careers and our lives?
An extensive study of data culled through the numerous competency models employed by top 500 companies of manager to C-level executives has revealed that out of the technical, intellectual and EQ abilities we can strive to develop, EQ is what’s most paramount to hinting at one’s growth potential as a thriving leader.
Anyways, I shall end my advocacy for EI for the moment, but I do hope you take the time to read Goleman’s article, “What Makes a Leader” when you have the time.
See here for another benefit to EI form a cost/benefits angle as noted by a leading research team in the UK specializing in management training:
Benefits of early EI measurement:
Case 1: “When hiring recruiters, the government used an emotional intelligence test as part of the process. They found that the recruiters who performed the best were the ones that had scored the highest on the EI test– particularly in the competencies of emotional self-awareness, empathy, happiness, and assertiveness [hiring employees who have high levels of EI gives you a better chance of hiring the right people the first time and reduces employee turnover, resulting in significant cost savings”. The Air Force soon learned that it could increase the chances of hiring successful recruiters by three times as much if they used the EI test. They found that using EI tests saved over $3 million annually by being able to hire the right people for the first time. The results were so notable that the Government Accountability Office (formerly the Government Accounting Office) presented the information to Congress who in turn requested the Department of Defense use emotional intelligence tests in recruitment and selection in all the armed forces.”
Read on to get better acquainted with the fundamental tenets of emotional intelligence as delineated here by Goleman: self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, and see them presented through examples within the business sphere.
I’ve put down The Guermantes Way for a moment to crunch through Zero to One, a book by Peter Thiel on notes on startups, monopolies, and how to build the future. So far, it’s proven to be an interesting read (it’s also my first time “reading” a book through Audible– I don’t know how to feel about that yet- but more on that for another time).
In Zero to One, Thiel advises on critically measuring a company’s long -term profitability and urges us to contemplate the following questions:
1. Growth measurability vs. durability
Opt to see one’s market potential over its current or “near-term” growth measurability, so.. an example would be having the prescience to value a company for its projected future market cash flow rather than solely looking at x company’s present market cap.
2. What does a company with large cash flows far into the future have in regards to qualitative characteristics?
economies of scale
It would be interesting to see how this applies to my present company and other businesses of interest:
For instance, what are the network effects of cult brands such as Supreme and emerging brands like Alpha Industries and A-COLD-WALL?
What kind of proprietary “innovations”do creative houses boast and have helped them become the monopolies they are today within their respective markets?
How do creative businesses navigate the land of commerce and manage to thrive when one quality exists in the midst of a dearth in others?